It took 24 days for Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair to secure bail in the six hate speech cases against him in Uttar Pradesh. After the Supreme Court granted him interim relief in all the cases, Zubair is set to walk out of jail.
Zubair was first arrested on June 27 by Delhi Police over a 2018 tweet which an anonymous complainant found ‘objectionable’. Here is a timeline of his arrests, pleas, various court orders and eventual SC relief in these 24 days.
June 27: Delhi Police arrests Zubair and produces him in court, which sends him to police custody for a day.
June 28:Delhi court extends police custody of Zubair by four days.
June 30:Zubair moves Delhi High Court for bail challenging his police remand.
July 1:Delhi HC seeks response from Delhi Police on a plea challenging the legality of Zubair’s police remand.
July 2:Delhi court dismisses the bail plea and sends him to 14-day judicial custody, citing the nature and gravity of the offences and investigations at an initial stage.
July 4:Uttar Pradesh Police produces Zubair in a Sitapur court in a case over his tweets. The court sends him to 14 days of judicial custody.
July 7: Zubair moves SC for bail and for quashing of FIR lodged in UP.
July 8:SC grants five-day interim bail to Zubair in connection with an FIR lodged against him in Sitapur.
July 9:Warrant issued against him in Lakhimpur Kheri for producing himself on July 11 in a case registered in November last year on the charge of promoting enmity.
July 11:Lakhimpur Kheri court sends Zubair to 14-day judicial custody.
July 12:SC extends till further orders the interim bail of Zubair in a case lodged against him in Sitapur.
July 12:UP Police constitutes a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe cases lodged against him in different districts.
July 14:A Hathras court remands Zubair to 14 days of judicial custody.
July 14:Zubair moves SC seeking quashing of six FIRs lodged against him in several districts of UP.
July 15:A Delhi court grants bail to Zubair in a case related to an objectionable tweet he had posted in 2018.
July 16:Lakhimpur Kheri court rejects the bail petition in connection with an FIR lodged against him in 2021.
July 18:SC orders no “precipitative steps” be taken against the fact-checker in the cases he is facing in UP, calling the FIRs a “vicious cycle” of police action.
July 20:The SC grants bail to Zubair in all FIRs lodged in UP against him.
“Having regard to the fact that the petitioner has been subjected to comprehensive investigation by the Delhi police, we find no reason for his deprivation of personal liberty to sustain,” a bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud, Surya Kant and AS Bopanna said in an order dictated in open court.
The Apex Court also transferred all the six cases from UP to Delhi. Of the six cases, two are registered in Hathras, and one each is in Muzaffarnagar, Ghaziabad, Lakhimpur Kheri and Sitapur districts.
(With PTI inputs)